Postprandial lipoprotein metabolism in patients at high risk of coronary artery disease: effects of statin therapy

Cheryl Ann Dane-Stewart

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Formulae and special characters can only be approximated here. Please see the pdf version of the abstract for an accurate reproduction.] Atherosclerosis is a common degenerative disease in which the clinical manifestations are often through stroke or myocardial infarction. Some of the established risk factors for atherosclerosis include elevated plasma low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol levels, obesity, diabetes mellitus (DM) and cigarette smoking. Of the risk factors, an elevation in plasma LDL is one of the most established and the most researched. This is partly a consequence of the deposition of cholesterol within arterial intima being a crucial step in the progression of atherosclerosis, combined with the finding that LDL particles are a major transporter of cholesterol in circulation. Recently there is increasing evidence showing a role of the other major transporter of cholesterol in circulation, chylomicron remnants, in the progression of atherosclerosis. The notion of atherosclerosis as a postprandial phenomenon has been further substantiated by the emergence of evidence showing a direct role of chylomicron remnants in arterial cholesterol deposition. Based on evidence that chylomicron remnants are proatherogenic, the suggestion arises that accumulation of postprandial lipoproteins in plasma may add another dimension of risk to the development of coronary artery disease (CAD). This thesis tests the general hypothesis that individuals with or at high risk of CAD have postprandial dyslipidaemia and that this metabolic abnormality is correctable with a class of lipid-lowering drugs called statins. To test the hypothesis, clinical studies were conducted in normolipidaemic CAD patients, heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) and postmenopausal women with type 2 DM. Determination of postprandial dyslipidaemia by comparison with control populations were conducted initially in each patient group (Studies 1, 3 and 5), followed by intervention studies investigating possible modulation of the dyslipidaemia with a statin (Studies 2, 4 and 6). Six observation statements based on case-control comparisons of postprandial lipaemia in patients with or at risk of CAD and the effects of statins on postprandial dyslipidaemia in the patient groups were derived from the general hypothesis. The observation statements were examined in the individual studies described below. Postprandial lipoprotein metabolism was assessed using a number of methods. For comparison of postprandial lipaemia in Studies 1 and 2, a classic oral fat challenge was utilised. As markers of chylomicrons and chylomicron remnants, retinyl palmitate and triglyceride were measured postprandially as well as apolipoprotein (apo) B48 concentrations, a specific marker of intestinal lipoproteins. ApoB48 was also measured in the fasting state and found to predict the postprandial responses of retinyl palmitate, triglyceride and apoB48. This suggested that fasting measurement of apoB48 could be used as a simple indicator of postprandial dyslipidaemia. Consequently for Studies 3 - 6, fasting apoB48 measurements were used as primary markers of postprandial dyslipidaemia. Other markers for chylomicrons and their remnants utilised were fasting plasma concentrations of remnant-like particle-cholesterol (RLP-C) and apoC-III. As well as these static markers, chylomicron remnant catabolism was measured using a stable isotope breath test. The breath test involves the intravenous injection of a chylomicron remnant-like emulsion labelled with ¹³C-oleate and measurement of enriched ¹³CO2 in expired breath by isotope ratio mass spectrometry. The fractional catabolic rate (FCR) of the injected emulsion was subsequently calculated using multi-compartmental modeling (SAAM II). The studies are presented in this thesis as published and unpublished works. In Study 1, postprandial lipoprotein metabolism was compared between 18 normolipidaemic CAD patients
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2003


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